The Empire StateBuilding is a world-famous landmark, synonymous with New York. It’s renowned asa backdrop in films such as “An Affair to Remember,” “King Kong,” and“Sleepless in Seattle.” In fact, it’s one of the city’s most significant andromantic skyscrapers.
Officially opened in1931, the Empire State Building took over the Chrysler Building’s title astallest in the world, a record it had held for 40 years. New York owes its“Empire State” nickname to the building, which is to New York what the EiffelTower is to Paris, or the Space Needle is to Seattle. The building, animpressive 1,453 feet tall including the broadcast tower, offers views ofManhattan’s twinkling lights from two observatories. One platform is on the86th floor and there’s another at the very top level on the 102nd floor, rightunder the broadcast tower with its 1454-foot antenna. On the way to theobservatories, be sure to spend time in the Dare to Dream 80th Floor Exhibit.This permanent display includes photographs, construction notes, andinformation on the building’s engineering.
At the 86th floor,take a walk along the open-air promenade for spectacular views of Midtown,Lower Manhattan and Central Park. On a clearday, it’s possible to see as far as New Jersey and Connecticut. Pop a quarteror two in the old-fashioned binoculars for a close-up peek of nearbyattractions, including Bryant Park and Times Square.
The 102nd floorobservatory is the highest public point in New York. The enclosed viewing areais ideal if you’re visiting in winter.
TheEmpire State Building is located in Midtown, Manhattan, in the heart of thecity, easily accessible by bus, subway or rail. The two observatories are opento the public 365 days a year. Lines for the ticket office and elevators can belong, so it’s wise to buy tickets on the Empire State Building’s official website.Wedding proposals aren’t uncommon, and a saxophone player sometimes serenadeslovebirds visiting the 86th floor.